Centre approves Rs 600 cr to encourage medicinal plantations

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Vijaywada, Sep 14 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Panabaka Lakshmi today said the Centre has decided to allocate Rs 600 crore to encourage medicinal plantations by tobacco farmers in the country.

Mrs Laxmi, who was here to lay the foundation for Advanced Ayurvedic Reserach Centre for vector-borne diseases said the UPA government was keen to discourage tobacco farming as part of the anti-tobacco movement.

She said the government has decided to take up the National Medicinal Plantations' Mission to promote medicinal plant as an alternative for tobacco.

The minister said ban on smoking in public places would come into force from Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 and a fine of Rs 200 would beimposed as penalty on violators.

Seeking cooperation from the public for implementing the ban effectively, she said Ayurveda, Homeo, Unani and Siddha Physicians would be appointed at Primary Health Care Centers (PHCs) to carryout research on filaria, malaria and other vector-borne diseases.

Cautioning the people to be careful on polio, she said polio was still prevailing in the country despite anti-polio vaccine movement on a largescale during the last decade.

At least 436 cases of polio were identified and among them one is from Andhra Pradesh,she added.

Later, the minister presented 2,000 mosquito nets to poor people of Rajeevnagar area, here.

UNI CS DB BDP RK1826

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